As the name implies, half-and-half comes from equal parts milk and heavy cream. People often use half-and-half to add creaminess to their coffee, but many think it is unhealthy and harmful to your health.
Unlike popular belief, half-and-half is not bad for your health once you consume it responsibly. Since it comes from whole milk and heavy cream, it offers health benefits and is healthier than coffee creamer, which often contains added sugar.
You're on the right page if you're wondering whether to get milk, coffee creamer, or half-and-half for your coffee. Read on to learn everything about this topic.
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What Is Half-And-Half?
Simply put, half-and-half contains equal parts of whole milk and heavy cream, giving it a creamy consistency and a more intense flavor without being too heavy, like heavy whipping cream.
Since half-and-half contains whole milk, it adds sweetness to your desserts and drinks but does not clump like heavy cream.
If you're keeping watch on your fat intake, you can find low-fat half-and-half or fat-free half-and-half, but check for additives in the ingredients list.
Is Half-And-Half Bad For You?
The quick answer is no; half-and-half is not bad for your health. Unlike coffee creamer, half-and-half does not contain added sugar and other additives, making it healthier.
Half-and-half should work fine if you’re looking for a thicker drink consistency.
Half-and-half contains nutrients that you get from milk and heavy cream, including protein, calcium, potassium, and vitamin A.
Although half-and-half contains fat from heavy cream, a tablespoon only gives 2% of the daily fat requirement.
To avoid additives and extra sugar, you can make half-and-half in your kitchen by mixing equal parts whole milk and heavy cream. You can also purchase low-fat half-and-half made from skim milk to avoid taking in excess fat.
Half-And-Half Vs. Heavy Cream: Which Is Better?
This depends on the use; although half-and-half is half cream, it works well as a regular milk substitute, but it won’t give the exact thickness you get with heavy cream.
You need heavy cream for making ice cream, whipped cream, creamy soups, and other desserts that require more milk fat.
Half-and-half is better than regular milk for drinks that need thicker dairy products, like smoothies, and for adding cream to black coffee.
Half-And-Half Vs. Whole Milk: Which Is Better?
You can always use half-and-half for drinks that require whole milk, but you can’t use regular milk for recipes that require more milk fat. For this reason, I would say half-and-half is better.
Half-and-half also works better in drinks, soups, and desserts. However, the main difference between them is their fat content.
Regular milk often comes fortified with vitamins and minerals and has a lower fat content and fewer calories, while half-and-half often comes with more saturated fat.
Half-And-Half Vs. Coffee Creamer: Which is Better?
When it comes to coffee, the battle between half-and-half and coffee creamer is among the most discussed ones. Both liquid and powdered creamers are more popular nowadays, but is one better than the other?
While coffee creamer offers convenience and comes in different flavors (French vanilla, pumpkin spice, and nut flavor), it often contains artificial sweeteners (corn syrup, aspartame, and sucralose) and toxic substances that cause health issues.
If you don’t have half-and-half in your pantry, you can easily use the following substitutes:
- Whole milk and light cream - Most half-and-half in cartons contain light cream. Use equal parts milk and light cream.
- Whole milk and heavy cream - Mix equal parts of regular milk and heavy cream for a thicker consistency.
- Whole milk and melted butter - Great substitute for baking; mix ⅓ cup regular milk with ¼ cup melted butter.
- Evaporated milk - Works when in a pinch. It is richer than regular milk.
- Powdered milk with water - Works for drinks; mix three tablespoons of powdered milk with ⅓ cup water.
- Coconut milk and coconut cream - Makes excellent non-dairy creamer. Mix ½ cup coconut milk with ¼ cup coconut cream.
If you're on a ketogenic diet, half-and-half will work for you. However, regular milk often comes fortified with vitamins and minerals, making it healthier than half-and-half.
Yes, but this depends on how much half-and-half you drink. A cup of half-and-half contains 80% of the daily allowed saturated fat intake, so drinking a cup daily would be bad for your health.
Organic half-and-half is one of the healthiest creamers you can find. If you're concerned about the fat content, you can switch to low-fat or non-fat half-and-half.